Friday, June 3, 2011

Germany Days 1 and 2

We're here!!!

We made it to the Munich airport Thursday morning at about 7:30am. Customs was a breeze. Getting our rental car was fairly easy.

We rented a GPS with our car... can I say the best $100 I've ever spent?!? We plugged in, entered the address for Dachau Concentration Camp, and viola! We were parking the car at Dachau. Note to those driving in another country... go on the internet and figure out the road signs BEFORE you go.

Thanks to everyone's advice, we went to Dachau Concentration Camp. It was really moving. The site has been well preserved and maintained. All the signs were translated. We rented the audio tour, and that was definitely worth the $5. It's meaningful to see this place up close and personal. There is so much about this time period and the attrocities commited by Hitler. Bringing it to life was spooky.

After Dachau, we set the GPS to Beth's house and hit the road. I'm not gonna lie, it took a really long time. Seriously. Considering we had only slept in fits and starts on the plane, it was a bit of a challenge, at least for me. Sonja napped for a good portion of it. We stopped at a rest area for a little while and had a power nap. That helped. We pulled into Beth's drive just after 4pm. We talked and had dinner, and were able to stay up until 9-ish. It sure felt good to finally turn in.

Friday: We started out this morning at the castle ruins in Landstahl, the closest town to where we are staying. The castle is named Nanstein and we had a GREAT visit. The castle is built into the mountainous red sandstone. They let us explore all over. Very cool.

After the castle, we drove to Kaiserslatern to a regional carnival. Imagine a county fair in the US; that's about what this was. We had lunch there: rote wurst, brat wurst and kase wurst. Georga, Liza and Liza's dad were with us. Georga and Sonja rode some rides. Sonja convinced me to ride one with her, and I nearly lost lunch. It's one that swings, spins, and nearly goes upside down. She totally owes me for that one! We had some really yummy chocolates there too. We didn't stay there too long, and walked over to one of the old churches in the area. They had a special service going on, so we couldn't go in. We took a couple pictures of the outside. The handles on the front were shaped like fish. Pretty cool.

After we got back to Beth's, Liza, Georga, Sonja and I walked into the village. It is so cute! Sonja and I also walked to the Catholic church in the village, St. Elizabeth's. We were able to go in a look around.

We had dinner at a local restaurant that specializes in German and Italian food. Mom and I had schnitzel and Sonja had a baked fettucini dish. After dinner we went on base, Ramstein Air Force Base, but most of the shops of the Base Exchange were already closed. We're going to go back to do some shopping later.
I think we're going to Stuttgart tomorrow. More updates later.

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